There have been a few additions to my Oregon inspired hand-painted jewelry collection and I thought it time to show them and the spaces that inspire them a little love. Above is my first painted Oregon charm necklace. It is sealed with non toxic acrylic and has a real gold leaf background. It is finished off with a gold grommet and has doubled up fine, vintage gold plated chain. The charm showcases that sweet baby that I spoke of a few days ago, Mt Hood. You can purchase one HERE.
Punchbowl Falls is a beauty to behold. In recent years the trail has become so crowded that I tend to shy from it. Recently some teenagers started a huge fire with fireworks on this very trail. The blaze closed down many of these beloved spots, so us Oregonians are really hurting. Hoping these earrings remind us of those better days that are bound to return. Get the earrings HERE.
This beautiful bridge sits just to the north of downtown Portland, connecting the neighborhood of St Johns to Hwy 30 and Forest Park. This is the first time I have painted these so slender and long and the shape compliments the cathedral-like bridge perfectly. Get a pair HERE.
Mt Adams sits to the Northeast of us and is truly magnificent. I have only visited the Mt Adams wilderness once and my breath was taken for certain. The terrain was quite distinctive compared to what I am used to closer to Portland. You need permits to hike on many of the trails on Mt Adams because the majority of it is still First Nation owned, which is amazing. You can get these earrings any time, HERE.
No collection would be complete without Oregon’s crown jewel, Multnomah Falls. I have visited countless times, even with the terrifying masses crowding the viewpoints. I’m willing to brave those crowds just to stand for a moment in the spectacle of these falls. Above I have two styles of the falls, Winter (top) available HERE and Summer (bottom) available HERE.
Finally I re-visit Mt Hood! On clear days the mountain gleams in the distance from many vantage points in Portland. Every single time I visit closer to the mountain and it comes into view I exclaim something, be it a curse word, or a simple “Wow” – the mountain never, ever fails to impress. I have three pairs listed on my etsy page, version 1, version 2, and version 3. You can also see many more nature inspired earrings and paintings in my store.
I don’t talk nearly enough on this blog about the hikes I enjoy here in the Pacific Northwest. They are as big a part of my life as Japan, my art, or my jewelry.
When I first moved to Portland the Columbia Gorge held many wonders for me and the late summer gorge fire did a number on most of them. The first days of the fire left me reeling and I could not stop crying. Though this one was not – fires are a natural thing and I know the forest and these spots I love will recover. In the meantime I have been hiking in alternative spots and seeking out new ones to ease my suffering.
For several years I have been passing the White River Sno park off hwy 35. The river bed is very wide, but I have never seen much water flow, even though I visit during every season. Turns out that in 2006 the river flooded and took out the bridge.
This is from the top of the hill near the start of the hike and the hill is the reason I love it so much. This trail leads you to a narrow forested plateau so it feels like you are hiking in your own private forest.
A section of the plateau is filled with gray jays flitting about and begging for food. They are not a timid bird species by any means.
And finally there she is, Mt Hood – the beauty that looks down majestically on all of us Portlanders. The trail takes you all the way to the mountain’s base. I have visited twice now and plan to creep closer each time I return. Stay tuned for more natural wonders.
I first moved to Portland, Oregon after a messy breakup almost ten years ago. I healed, but I was not dialed in and did not enjoy the city as much as I should have. I settled in stumptown for good 6 years ago after a brief re-visit of NYC. This time around I fell in love, with a man and with this fair city. One of the biggest reasons I love it here is because I have hiking buddies and I get to see beautiful waterfalls regularly like Wahkeena, Wahclella, Multnomah, and Latourell.
I also like the look of my current hometown, with gorgeous glass and concrete structures against the backdrop of lush Forest Park and alive with beautiful bridges like Fremont, Steel, and my favorite – St Johns. And welcoming you to this wonderland is the famous Portland, Oregon White Stag sign! Such a beauty.
Another reason to celebrate living in the Pacific Northwest is the birds! I see them in the city, floating above me, crows cawing, chickens clucking in neighboring yards, I see them in Forest Park at the Audobon Society, I see owls and auks and gulls and eagles and osprey and hawks on my hikes, and I see them as paintings and earrings and cuffs in my workstation at least once a week. That vile show that has contributed to messing with the vibe here in Portland joked about putting birds on things and I willingly live up to the silly stereotype.
I would be a fool if I didn’t mention the crown jewel of Portland, Mt Hood! The mountain is ever-present looming behind the city to the east, inspiring and beckoning all who see it’s granduer. One of my favorite views of the mountain is from Mirror Lake, a popular hike in my area.
Honorable mention goes out to the vibrant bike culture of Portland. And also the trees. My two favorite trees here are the Douglas Fir and the Ponderosa Pine! These things I have mentioned and many, many more keep me inspired and creations based on them take up permanent residence in my Etsy shop.
Who knows where my adventures will take me this year? I know the area still has gems to reveal and with my new hiking buddies and my dearest, frequent hiking companion Seasons ready to discover them with me I am sure to be inspired to create all year long. Stay tuned!